Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Molar Pregnancy

During the summer of 2009, my husband and I were thrilled when we learned I was pregnant. It wasn't exactly in our plans, as we were still adjusting to life with two toddler boys (thirteen months apart), but we celebrated the news as if we had been trying to conceive for years. We immediately started discussing names and daydreaming about what life with three kids would be like.

We were happy.

So when I started spotting at twelve weeks pregnant, we panicked. I had never bled while pregnant before and that terrible word started flashing in my head: Miscarriage!

It was late, so I couldn't call my OB, and I knew that it wasn't all too uncommon to spot during the first and last trimester, so I did what any modern day woman would have done- I googled it.

I took comfort in the fact that it wasn't heavy bleeding and that I hadn't passed any clots. I read and prayed and researched and prayed, over and over again.

The next morning, the bleeding was gone. I called my OB, made an appointment and prayed some more.

I spotted lightly during the next several days before my appointment. I must have read a thousand different stories about women who spotted and went on to have beautiful babies a few months later. I was trying to keep the hope alive. I remember reading a few things about bleeding and molar pregnancy, but I would skip through it thinking that could never happen to me. For one, it's rare...and two, those types of things don't happen to me, only to others! [sound familiar?]

I went to my appointment hoping they'd be able to detect a heartbeat. They couldn't. So they gave me orders for an ultrasound. I couldn't quite see the screen as they were doing it, but I could see the confused look on the radiologist's face.

He wouldn't tell me what he saw and informed me I'd have to wait until my OB talked to me the next day. This should be illegal. I'm surprised I didn't lose my mind.

At that point I had convinced myself that there wouldn't be a baby and that something was surely wrong. I cried in my husband's arms and demanded an explanation, as if his guess would be any better than mine.

The next day, my OB told me he wasn't happy with the quality of the ultrasound and gave me orders for another one at a different lab, along with orders for a chest x-ray.

A chest x-ray???!!

A few days later my doc had me come in and confirmed the molar pregnancy. Then he told me they had found a nodule in one of my lungs. He explained the risk for Choriocarcinoma that comes with MP, that it's highly treatable, how chemotherapy is sometimes necessary, that I'd be ok...blah blah blah. At this point, I just wanted to fall on my knees and cry. I couldn't believe this was all happening to me.


I was scheduled for a D&C a couple of days later. By that time, I was about 14 weeks 'pregnant'. It definitely didn't feel normal by then. I was extremely nauseous, my stomach was huge, I could only eat a few bites before feeling full... I was just altogether uncomfortable.

All the nurses and doctors were amazing during my stay at the hospital. I was only there a few hours since it was an outpatient procedure, but everyone was so incredibly sweet and understanding.

I'll never forget though, only one person actually ever told me sorry for the loss of your pregnancy and he probably has no clue about how much that still means to me. Thank you, Dr. Weller -for being the best, most funniest, most sweetest anesthesiologist in the whole world [who was also my anesthesiologist when my little Tyler was born, by the way]

I was supposed to have my HCG levels measured every week until they went down to zero. They decreased during the next couple of weeks, but they started to rise again on the third week, sending me on, yet another, 'why me, why me?!!' rant rage.

I kept having nightmares about dying in front of my kids and watching them as they helplessly cried for me

My OB officially referred me to an oncologist after my HCG levels continued to rise for the next three weeks in a row.

The first oncologist was a jerk, so I asked to be referred to another, but before I could meet with the second oncologist, I ended up in the ER. I had been bleeding heavily and passing giant clots off and on for two weeks, and my mom decided enough was enough and made me go to the ER. [God bless her motherly soul for doing so]. They took me in right away and scheduled me for a second D&C the next morning. I slept comfortably knowing that if I bled anymore, I'd at least be in good hands.

The next morning, when I got up to go to the bathroom before my procedure,  gravity did it's job and I left a giant pool of blood [much to my roomie's amusement] leading all the way into the bathroom and back, right before passing one more giant clot. A nurse said she'd never seen one that big. I may hold the Guinness world record, for all I know...

Anyway, I had a second D&C and my HCG levels went back down to zero, several weeks later. My oncologist told me the nodule wasn't a big deal and that it wasn't uncommon to see them in chest x-rays.

.I am now working on a research survey that I intend to publish soon. There isn't a lot of information out there about what causes a molar pregnancy and ignorance isn't always bliss. At least not to me.